I give you Justin Bieber and his monkey and his mop bucket. And look, here’s Lindsay Lohan and her shenanigans.  Two brothers, each younger than 30, violently disrupt the Boston Marathon.  What is this younger generation coming to … or rather, what WILL this younger generation come to?

Well, here’s what it COULD be coming to…

hannah being shorn

(Hannah getting it done)

I give you Hannah.  She just graduated from high school. She doesn’t have the benefit of national media coverage of any nature, much less negative or positive.  She is just like so many of her age.  She has the same concerns, the same vulnerabilities, the same tastes and interests as those in her age bracket.  I believe that she and millions like her are more of what we’re going to see from her generation than the few I mentioned in the first paragraph.

You see, Hannah did something pretty amazing this week.  She had her hair cut off and donated to cancer at the recent WALK FOR LIFE event in town.  All 22 inches of it, folks, including a ‘shaved until bald’ treatment.  She did this because she cares and is concerned for those with cancer.  It’s not like she has lost someone close to cancer (although she may have – I don’t know….) she just feels the need to be of service, to be useful, even at her young age.

Hannah set a goal for how much money she’d raise, and then achieved her goal.  She said she was going to go all out for this event, cutting off her hair AND having her head shaved.  Then she followed through with the whole thing and did it all, sitting on a stool on a stage at the county fairgrounds.

It was all guts, fortitude, commitment and compassion from this young lady.

To Hannah, such actions are not exceptional.  Yes, I do believe she understands that this is a bit out of the ordinary, and that there are few others that will go as far as she did.  But I can guarantee you she didn’t do it as a stunt or to draw attention to herself.  She did it because she chose to take action for something that she sees as worthy.

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(Hannah on the left and her good friend Katie, on the right)

I believe there are a whole lot more Hannahs out there than there are Biebers and Lohans.  At least 100 dozen more trainloads worth of Hannahs.  They don’t get the national PR.  They don’t get their 15 minutes of fame.  They may grow up to have normal, unremarkable lives in general, but they WILL do remarkable things with their actions… and to make it even better, they will KEEP doing remarkable things with their actions.

I have known Hannah for most of her life.  She has been my student in the last decade or so of my music teaching career – she has sung for me, played instruments for me, played piano, visited with me just for fun, shared hugs … so I think I qualify to made such statements as I make here.

I have had many students like Hannah over the years – many who I know will give in their own way like Hannah gave in hers.  I believe Hannah and the others like her will take a good solid look at how the world is doing, and they will make a difference that we will be proud of.

My challenge to those who are older like me – take heart.  Hannah and those like her are out there, hungry to work, hungry to participate.  Let us not be old duffers with our usual attitudes about how young whippersnappers don’t know anything these day.  Let us not run down their hopes and energies.

I challenge you all to remember that the Justins and Lindsays and those brothers are a poor example of what is yet to come.

I challenge you all to remember the Hannahs out there.  They are the ones who can muster it all together and make things work out.